Locals and Have Fun!
Cambodian language is called Khmer.
It has the most number of alphabets on earth (74 compared to 26 in English alphabets), and it has its own fonts.
Official name of Cambodia in Khmer script
(transcripted Preăh Réachéanachâkr Kâmpŭchea).
So, does it sound like a hopeless case to learn Khmer (pronounced Khe-my)?
Here are some simple phrases that you can memorize before arriving in Cambodia. Knowing a few words of Cambodian language always earns smiles and nods of approval from the local. And hey, usually that way they're extra nice to you, for taking the trouble of learning their language.
So here you go.
(Click on the play button to hear the pronounciation)
|How are you?||Sok sabai chea tay?|
|I'm fine||Knhum sok sabai chea tay|
|Yes||Baat (for man)
Cha (for woman)
|Thank you very much||Akun jann|
Getting to Know
|How much for this?||Teu nis thlay pun mann?|
|Please take me to...||Sohn york knhum toev...|
|Where is||Noev ey na|
|Slow down (you'll need this one!)||Banthoy L'boeun|
|Stop here||Chhop tee nis|
|Turn right||Bort sdam|
|Turn left||Born chhveng|
|Go straight||Toev trang|
|Pharmacy||Or soth s'than|
|Guesthouse||Ph'teah som nak|
So in short...Simple Cambodian phrases are the way to go. You'll have so much fun, and connect with the people better. Of course there's the chance of mis-pronouncing the word, but not to worry, just your efforts alone will please them.
Worse comes to worse, use hand signals, hire a guide, or grab an English speaking Cambodian to help you out . There are increasingly more and more people who can speak basic english. So do this for fun, not because you have to!
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What Other Visitors Have Said
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Where would you like to go next?Get some Cambodian language learning software and books:
Read more on Khmer language alphabets and origins
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